A FAMILY’S hopes of converting a small early 19th century farmhouse on the A51 into a home have been dashed.

Applicant Michael Lightfoot submitted the plans at Oaktree Cottage on Nantwich Road, Tiverton Heath.

The derelict cottage, inherited by the family, has views towards Beeston and Peckforton castles.

Mr Lightfoot told Cheshire West and Chester Council he had long dreamed of owning a smallholding but the ‘very modest’ farmhouse was too small for the family.

He had scaled down earlier proposals but the guideline 30% increase in floor space would not be practical or viable.

The intention was to use the four-acre holding for purposes including an orchard of traditional Cheshire apples, agricultural contracting and engineering.

With a proposed two-storey extension, the size of the property would still be modest.

Planning officers believed the new build would be out of keeping and would increase the floor space by 90%.

They ‘noted’ Mr Lightfoot’s personal circumstances but felt these could be met by a smaller extension. Permission was refused and Mr Lightfoot appealed with inspector Clive Sproule being appointed.

The extension would ‘substantially enlarge’ the property, said the inspector.

He accepted the design would include some sympathetic features and neighbours were too distant to be affected.

But he concluded the alterations would be unacceptably harmful to the character and appearance of the house and the locality.

There did not appear to be any reason why the property, as existing or suitably extended, should not provide for the business. He dismissed the appeal.